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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 April, 2003, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Dundee book final place
Fabian Caballero (left) caused Inverness problems
Inverness CT 0-1 Dundee

Dundee will face Rangers in the Scottish Cup final after seeing off the challenge of Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park.

A goal from Giorgi Nemsadze helped the Tayside club extend their unbeaten run to 14 games - and set up their first final appearance since 1964.

The Premier League side never hit top gear against determined opponents, but created several good chances and should have enjoyed a more comfortable margin of victory.

A crowd of less than 15,000 meant huge swathes of empty seats at the national stadium and a distinct lack of atmosphere.

But the jubilant Dundee players were not complaining at the final whistle and can look forward to a return visit at the end of the season and a place in the Uefa Cup next season.

Dave Mackay, Garry Brady and Steve Lovell come into the Dundee side for Lee Mair, suspended Barry Smith and Mark Burchill, whose girlfriend had gone into labour.

Inverness made four changes from the side which lost to Clyde last week.

Out went Grant Munro, Charlie Christie, Steven Hislop and Liam Keogh and in to the side came Dennis Wyness, Paul Ritchie, Roy McBain and Stuart Golabek.

The First Division side, who disposed off Celtic in the previous round, made a bright start and skipper Bobby Mann and Ritchie fashioned chances in the opening stages.

With ten minutes gone Dundee goalkeeper Julian Speroni produced a great flying save to push a fierce 25-yard shot from Wyness onto the post.

However, Dundee slowly began to assert themselves and almost snatched the lead in the 26th minute with their first quality move of the match.

Zurab Khizanishvili exchanged passes with Nemsadze and threaded the ball through to Lovell, but the striker's effort caught the legs of advancing goalkeeper Mark Brown and spun inches wide of the upright.

Dundee created several good chances
The SPL side continued to press and should have taken the lead when a clever looping cross from Lovell found Steven Milne unmarked just ten yards from goal, but the youngster fluffed his volley with the goal at his mercy.

The second half was just a few minutes old when Wilkie and Fabian Caballero both rose for a Gavin Rae cross at the Thistle back post - with the Dundee defender beating his better-placed team-mate to the ball and heading over.

Caballero then wasted a wonderful opportunity when he latched on to a crafty lobbed pass from Brady but scooped the ball over the bar from seven yards.

Caballero made amends for his miss when he set up Nemsadze for the game's only goal after 78 minutes.

The tricky striker involved several defenders with a mazy run into the box before cutting the ball back to the Georgian international captain, who found the bottom corner of the net with the outside of his boot from 18 yards.

Nemsadze caused havoc in the Inverness penalty area soon after with a neat run and shot that ricocheted from Brown on to Charlie Christie and Mann had to make a goal-line clearance to prevent a freak own goal.

Caballero and Khizanishvili then passed up chances as Inverness left gaps at the back in the dying minutes.

Inverness CT: Brown, McCaffray, Mann, McBain, Golabek, Tokely, Duncan, Hart, Robson, Wyness, Ritchie. Subs: Fraser, Christie, Bagan, Stewart, Keogh.

Dundee: Speroni, Mackay, Wilkie, Khizanishvili, Hernandez Santos, Rae, Nemsadze, Brady, Milne, Caballero, Lovell. Subs: Langfield, Beith, Novo, Mair, Robb.

Referee: D McDonald.

Dundee boss Jim Duffy
"It's a great feeling of satisfaction"

Inverness boss John Robertson
"Semi-finals can be decided by the most subtle things"



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